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The watershed... 'La Cuenca'

One day we realised that the space we are living in is an entire watershed. We had just discovered a route that connects our home in the rainforest with the main (dirt) road. After this magical walk winding amongst massive trees, climbing a hill above a little stream which runs through an old bamboo grove, we popped out into the clearing. The view was spectacular. The route of our little stream could be seen clearly, lined with vibrant old rainforest running down the valley bed. Either side open fields lay baking in the sun without the shade of trees, some with ghostly white recently burnt trees, and others with the intervention of a tough grass for cattle. A few little specs could be seen amongst areas we had begun to reforest - the bamboo structures in which we dwell.

In becoming our home, it was critical for us to imagine how we could live here while contributing to the land. Experiencing the vastness of destruction for cattle farming, it became clear that reforestation was part of our being here. With the abundance of bamboo, creating our home with this natural material was another part. Leaving what remained of ancient rainforest to the continuing thrival of the many wonderous species of plant and animal, we decided to build on the already opened farmland.

This idea came almost two years ago, in July 2018 when we first stepped onto this land. This was an incredible moment, filled with the excitement of adventure where we spent a few days hiking about, sleeping in a tent and eating fruit and veg from a cooler box under the shade of trees..

Since then we have built a home comprising many elements you’d expect to find in a house, except spread out in separate structures amongst the watershed. The spirit of adventure lives on as we meander along little paths between the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and studio, greeting the many fruit trees we have planted along the way. It feels like the most special, awe-inspiring thing to us, that we have embarked on this life-journey in partnership with this land.

La Cuenca, ‘The Watershed’ in Spanish, is our little piece of earth that we can nourish while at the same time she nourishes us. It brings up another interpretation of ownership, where the land is valued as a living being who we connect with and care for during our life, and pass on to those who live beyond our time. Here we can nurture a little paradise on earth.

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